Friday, April 13, 2012

When Galaxies Collide: Galactic Collision May Hold Insight into Nature of Dark Matter

Many of the most basic questions about dark matter remain unanswered.
No one yet knows if dark matter can collide with itself, though current evidence suggests dark matter particles interact little with other dark matter. Knowing the details of galaxy-collision processes may help scientists determine the characteristics of dark matter particles and narrow down the list of possible particles that could be dark matter.
click picture for more galactic collisions
A newly discovered galactic smash-up may give astronomers insight into the behavior of galaxy collisions and the nature of dark matter.
Galactic clusters contain some of the largest accumulations of dark matter in the universe. By carefully observing the distribution of visible matter, scientists may be able to infer what happens to the dark matter during the crashes. In one bizarre case, the collision dynamics have left behind a huge lump of dark matter.

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